#2 | DCX - Perspectives and insights on digital customer experience
Getting to Native - Stages of Digital Maturity; Friction in the Customer Journey - Part 2; Effortless Self-Service; Linked in Poll Results and more
Getting to Native - Stages of Digital Maturity
As digital drives new levels of disruption across every industry and customer behavior evolves at a rapid pace, businesses need to take a more customer-centric view of digital strategies, from the smallest B2B start-up to the largest digital enterprise. The increased pace of change and the complexity of new user expectations are driving businesses to examine their digital maturity - the business processes, strategy, resourcing, and technology underpinning their digital services.
In the image below, Marco Iansiti and Satya Nadella, illustrate that companies typically progress through five stages on their maturity journey. While I think the image provides a solid view of the building blocks, each stage is explained in more detail in their May 2022 HBR.org article, Democratizing Transformation.
Digital maturity is not a goal but rather a journey. It requires a transformational mindset and commitment across the entire organization, which takes time and resources.
From Democratizing Transformation (May 2022 - hbr.org)
Digital transformation requires that executives, managers, and frontline employees work together to rethink how every aspect of the business should operate.
The mandate for digital transformation creates a leadership imperative:
Embrace transformation, and work to sustain it.
Articulate a clear strategy and communicate it relentlessly.
Establish an organizational architecture to evolve into as you make the myriad daily decisions that define your technology strategy.
Deploy a real governance process to track the many technology projects underway, and coordinate and integrate them whenever possible.
Champion agility in all business initiatives you touch and influence.
And finally, break free of tradition. Train and coach your employees to understand the potential of technology and data, and release the innovators within your workforce.
So what does it really mean for an organization to be digitally mature? I believe it consists of four things:
1) A digital-first mindset from the C-suite on down
2) An agile approach to everything
3) A culture of experimentation
4) Connected systems, platforms, and data gathering and analysis
What stage are you on in your journey?
Friction in the digital customer journey - Part 2
Friction (ˈfrik-shən) Customer friction is anything that creates hesitation, slows, or disrupts your customer experience.
Unfortunately, on the day of the installation, everything fell apart. Since the order confirmation, I heard nothing from the company about installation, I awoke early to ensure if the tech arrived at 8 am, I would be ready. By 11 am, I was beginning to get concerned. So, I clicked on the order confirmation email to view the order status. I landed on a web page with an empty form, where I was expected to enter the order number and my last name or account number. At this point in my journey, I was frustrated that I had not heard from anyone so being asked to enter this information manually was irksome. Given that I had clicked on a link from a personalized email, I expected that the information would auto-populate or even bypass this form to go directly to the order status. I had to go back to the email to find the order number and after entering the info, the response was that the order was in progress, with no expected delay.
Also, on that order details page, was an option to live chat. I will go into the process that got me to the agent in another post. Suffice to say, when I got to an agent, they told me the same info as the order confirmation screen. They had no more information about the tech than I did. All they said was, "Everything looks good. He should be there soon."
Fast forward to 1:15 pm. Still no communication from the company or the technician. I called to get the scoop. The IVR had a solid voice solution that said I could ‘talk to it like a person.’ So, I let it know that my technician was late for the installation. It said it would route me to a care technician to help. Then it asked me for the phone number on my account, another head-scratcher since I called in with the phone on my account - I entered it and was told that that number wasn't associated with an account. (I came to further understand that this has been a known issue for a while and happens for everyone who calls) So, I was directed to another section of the IVR that told me it didn't have the same voice solution and I should press keys on my phone to interact. Finally made it to an agent, who also tried to find my account - I gave her the order number and she said that she couldn't find that number and that sometimes the order gets canceled if the tech isn't going to make it. I found that highly strange. She had no record of the order being canceled but surmised that was the issue. She transferred me to another agent who could take a new order for me.
“I have conversations like this maybe five times a day.” the sales agent said. He proceeded to take my order and send me a new confirmation email. A little while later, I noticed the confirmation details were different than the original order, so I called back in. By this point, the wait was 40 minutes, so I went back to the Chat channel. There I was told that I needed to call the retention department the next day to change the order.
So, while all this was happening, I received a text from the company letting me know the tech was on his way!
Super confusing moment as I had been told the order was canceled. And at 4 pm, the tech showed up and completed the installation on the first order. Service was up and running. All was well after an 8-hour ordeal.
In recounting this story, I found a number of areas of opportunity:
Continue the SMS communications to ensure the customer is kept aware of the upcoming installation
Enable all Call center agents to see the pending order, who the Tech is, what his schedule is, and what his approximate time of arrival will be
Fix the IVR so it recognizes the phone number calling
Automate the digital order updates
Enable any agent to cancel an order (especially an erroneously created order)
Investigate the assertion from the Sales Agent that orders get canceled all the time.
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Amazon's self-service chat support is one of the best automated customer experiences I've encountered. One item in my recent order never arrived so I went to the website to check on it. I was offered the opportunity to Chat with the Assistant.
Total interaction time took literally 2 minutes from start to finish. Fully automated but felt really human. It's a great example of real-time APIs supported by thoughtful conversation design employing empathy and building trust.
LinkedIn Poll Results
I think it’s hard to get accurate feedback on digital experiences just by reading customer survey verbatims. Usually, the comments and scores have little to do with the actual experience. Instead, talking directly to customers yields a wealth of actionable information including intent, expectations, effort, new ideas, and alternate perspectives.
I know it can sometimes be nerve-wracking or fearsome to call back someone who scored you a 0-4, but the value outweighs the feeling.. every time I called on a score like this, the customer was pleasantly surprised to hear from us and was excited that they were being heard. I always learned something of value in these conversations. Win. Win.
Links to Industry news, thought leaders, and ideas of interest
To gain a true competitive edge in today's environment, digital businesses need to elevate their customer journeys to prioritize personalized experiences. Personalization is the next customer experience "must-have" that will define 2022 and 2023. In the past two years, 73% of businesses have increased personalization efforts in their customer experiences.
Friction isn’t always a bad thing, especially when companies are looking for responsible ways to use AI. The trick is learning to differentiate good friction from bad, and to understand when and where adding good friction to your customer journey can give customers the agency and autonomy to improve choice, rather than automating the humans out of decision-making. Companies should do three things: 1) when it comes to AI deployment, practice acts of inconvenience; 2) experiment (and fail) a lot to prevent auto-pilot applications of machine learning; and 3) be on the lookout for “dark patterns.”
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